India among most popular destinations for Australian students

By PTI Published on Jul 24, 2018 04:40 PM IST

New Delhi: India was among the most popular destinations for Australian students taking part in the Australian government's New Colombo Plan, with close to 1,300 students heading here next year to live, study and undertake internships, an official statement said.

The New Colombo Plan was a signature initiative of the Australian government, which was designed to encourage more Australians to live, study and work in the Indo-Pacific region. Australia's Acting High Commissioner to India Rod Hilton said, "With India at the front rank of Australia's international partnerships, I'm pleased that 1,261 students from 27 Australian universities will conduct internships, mentorships, practicals and research in India in 2019."

As outlined in the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper, the New Colombo Plan was a practical manifestation of the Australian government's commitment to learn from its neighbours in the Indo-Pacific. Students would also gain invaluable experience of Indian workplaces through internships with private sector organisations such as Indian Law Society and Centre for Sports Excellence, a project run by India's iconic sport stars Prakash Padukone and Rahul Dravid.

"The students will gain new insights, lifelong friendships and a strong understanding of India, essential as our two countries build closer economic ties," added Hilton.

Next year, the New Colombo Plan would support 11,817 students from 40 universities across Australia to take part in 792 mobility projects in 36 Indo-Pacific host locations. The returning students from the 2019 mobility projects would increase the New Colombo Plan alumni to around 40,000 young Australians with experience of living, studying and undertaking work experience in the Indo-Pacific.